What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common infection that occurs as a result of one or more of a combination of factors. These include less than ideal oral hygiene habits, genetics, limited dental cleanings, smoking and systemic disease such as diabetes. When left untreated, it can cause serious damage to your gums, soft tissues and jawbone. It can also lead to tooth loss and affect your overall health. Luckily, it’s preventable if you have the right information. Read on to discover the ins and outs of periodontal disease and what you can do to stop it from happening to you or your family.
What Exactly is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a gum infection that attacks the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It can be broken down into 4 stages:
- Gingivitis – This is the mildest form of gum disease. It causes inflammation of the gums and is reversible.
- Early Periodontitis – This is when inflammation increases, gums bleed and some bone loss occurs.
- Moderate Periodontitis – This results in more noticeable bone loss that extends to the tooth roots and causes tooth movement.
- Advanced Periodontitis – This is when tooth loss occurs, and bone loss and tooth movement is significant.
Other symptoms you may experience with gum disease include bad breath, sensitivity, receding gums, painful chewing, new spaces between teeth and a change in your bite.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The primary cause of periodontal disease is too many bad bacteria, which is usually from a long period of average dental care. The start of the infection typically begins with plaque – a sticky film made up of bacteria that clings to the teeth and eventually hardens into tartar. If not removed by a dentist, tartar can build up and spread below the gumline which leads to pockets forming between the teeth and the gums. These pockets fill with more bacteria, plaque and tartar and become deeper over time.
While periodontal disease mostly affects people in their 30s and older, it can start as early as adolescence. That’s why it’s important to develop a proper oral care routine from a young age.
How Can You Avoid Periodontal Disease?
You’ll be happy to know that periodontal disease is largely preventable. You can minimise the risk by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and making
regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy and performing as they should at every stage of your life.
Trust Fresh Family Dental to Take Care of Your Oral Health
At Fresh Family Dental, we know all about periodontal disease and know exactly what you need to do to treat it and avoid it altogether! Based in Burleigh Heads, we provide professional dental care for the whole family and can give you the tools and treatment you need to maintain healthy gums and a sparkling smile for life. Our dentists Andrea King and Rachel O’Connor have extensive experience in providing tailored dental care that meets your individual needs. We also prefer prevention rather than treatment, so will help you to tailor a personalised oral hygiene plan for your needs. Give us a call today on 07 5551 6060 to make a booking or to enquire for more information on periodontal disease.